I'm the One That I Want | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

I'm the One That I Want 

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Most stand-ups I've met have wanted a shot at TV stardom--just some little sitcom or talk show they could call their own. As if every show becomes a hit and every stand-up comedian ends up as wealthy as Jerry Seinfeld. But in her one-woman piece Margaret Cho asks, What do you do after your sitcom or talk show tanks? The answer lies in this bitter, witty monologue, which details all the glorious idiocy behind Cho's own ill-fated sitcom, All-American Girl--the ego battles, the bad decisions, the attempts to fashion a series ethnic enough to be called an ethnic comedy but bland enough for white-bread America. A first-generation Korean-American born and raised in San Francisco, Cho was especially amused and disgusted to discover that ABC had hired a Korean consultant to help her be more Korean. She also discusses her dangerous crash diet after some network execs worried about the "fullness of her face"--she took off 30 pounds in two weeks, which precipitated kidney failure. Cho is known for her barbed wit and sharp observational humor, but what makes this kiss-and-tell show more than a collection of one-liners about a sucky business is her candor discussing the dark period following the sitcom's cancellation--her depression and retreat into drugs and alcohol. Yet as this show proves, there is life after Hollywood. The Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449. Saturday, September 25, 7:30 and 10:30 PM. $21.50-$36.50.

--Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Lori Dorn.

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